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View Full Version : Phone calls from customers - how late is too late?


grassmasterdawn
04-27-2006, 09:13 PM
This may be a dopey question, but I was wondering what time of night most of you stop answering your business phone. I've had several callers try to get a hold of me after 8pm and that happens to be right around the time that I shut off my ringer because I am at my full-time job (at a factory). I just allow the voice mail to take it and I call the person back in the morning.

So do most of you answer the phone only during business hours? Or will you answer any and every call that comes in, even if it's at 4am.:sleeping: I guess part of that depends on how hungry you are for business.

Tom c.
04-27-2006, 09:34 PM
:) If you have to work shifts let the answering machine pick up or use your cell but make sure you call back promptly or theyll be calling the next guy on their list.I do lawns after work till 700 or 730 and then have to put the stuff away and clean up and do the books whole the info is still fresh in my head. I got two kids in college and the lawns help out I enjoy doing outside work and having my own small bussiness. Good luck!!:usflag:

jpp
04-27-2006, 10:12 PM
Answering machine p/u calls. I will make return calls up till 8:30 or 9 pm. No later.

daveintoledo
04-27-2006, 10:19 PM
you would be suprised at how many customers i have picked up because i called back right away they say" i cant get anyone to call me back thanks so much..."


just get to it as fast as you can...

Tom c.
04-27-2006, 10:45 PM
I picked up two new accounts this week cause they said I was the only person to call them back!! One guy said a Lco left a flyer on the door and when he called him back he never returned the call!!! :hammerhead:

grassmasterdawn
04-27-2006, 11:23 PM
I picked up two new accounts this week cause they said I was the only person to call them back!! One guy said a Lco left a flyer on the door and when he called him back he never returned the call!!! :hammerhead:

Now that's just plain nutty!:dizzy: No doubt one of the fly-by-nighters.

Although, I do admit there was one woman, very early on, that I didn't call back because it sounded like the clean-up job from hell. In retrospect, out of respect for the fact that she payed attention to most of my flyer, I SHOULD have called her and simply told her that I was all booked up.

dtelawncare
04-27-2006, 11:25 PM
I answer my phone at all times. I work a swing shift and have a couple cutomers that work odd hours. If I can, I always try to answer the phone........... unless I am playing with my kids or eating dinner.

topsites
04-28-2006, 05:32 AM
I can only advise not to answer the phone if you think you might be in no mood to be called at this time, so to speak. Otherwise, if you feel like answering you should answer it, this is your business and you decide, I've answered as late as 10:30pm and as early as 3:30am but again DON'T answer it if you're in no mood to be receiving calls at this time.

This is one reason I leave my phone in another room when I go to sleep, I do NOT want to be woken up because you're likely to catch me on a short fuse.

Rhett
04-28-2006, 08:25 AM
Don't get your customers used to calling you at off hours. I will answer mine from 0700 to 1800. In the past have had call at 0500 on Sunday and as late as 2330.

grassmasterdawn
04-28-2006, 08:07 PM
I can only advise not to answer the phone if you think you might be in no mood to be called at this time, so to speak. Otherwise, if you feel like answering you should answer it, this is your business and you decide, I've answered as late as 10:30pm and as early as 3:30am but again DON'T answer it if you're in no mood to be receiving calls at this time.

This is one reason I leave my phone in another room when I go to sleep, I do NOT want to be woken up because you're likely to catch me on a short fuse.

That's exactly why I feel there should be a cut off time - you gotta have sleep!

grassmasterdawn
04-28-2006, 08:14 PM
you would be suprised at how many customers i have picked up because i called back right away they say" i cant get anyone to call me back thanks so much..."


just get to it as fast as you can...

I did get up earlier than usual so I could call her back first thing this morning and rode over to give the estimate. I got the job, plus I got some handyman work for a friend of mine! It worked out perfect.

And of course, she said she couldn't get other lco's to call her back and one who had promised to come out and look at the property before giving an estimate, never showed up or called to cancel.

Freddy_Kruger
04-28-2006, 11:36 PM
I don't think you should pick up the at 4 am, makes you look small time and a lot of people want to or expect to leave a message. They tell me that all the time because I answer on sundays (I work on Sundays).

topsites
04-28-2006, 11:41 PM
I don't think you should pick up the at 4 am, makes you look small time and a lot of people want to or expect to leave a message. They tell me that all the time because I answer on sundays (I work on Sundays).

You are correct, I did notice this once with a 5:30 am call I found myself being belittled by the caller as they said 'we wanted to make sure to catch you before you left' and here I am thinking... This is my cellphone, I tell all my customers this ... But it was that thing about 'catching you before you left' that I somehow failed to appreciate as it felt more like I was being handled, dunno, just the way it felt.

Lets put it another way, usually the only time I answer the phone at odd times is when I know who it is and yes there is a customer or two of mine to whom time is not an issue such as that which you mentioned but ...

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At the same rate, I have found an odd-time call can be a red flag and may be one of the red flags you need to see one pita coming before it's too late. Not always, but it helps to pay attention as it can help spot a few from time to time.

mad_wrestler
04-28-2006, 11:59 PM
I don't make any phone calls after 8 P.M. unless requested by the customer specifically. And when I get the answering machine any time, I just leave my name, number and that's it. Don't ever leave a message with your quote.

mike lane lawn care
04-29-2006, 12:21 AM
for some people it's eaiser to leave a message on my voice mail, they prefer that, then i call them back later on. my clients call me durring school because they know that i will have the phone set to vibrate and not answer it.

JKOOPERS
04-29-2006, 05:29 PM
i will not call anyones house later than 8 pm. i have a 1 1/2 year old and if they were to call me that late i would be pissed. people need to respect time for family.

ECS
04-30-2006, 12:19 AM
I had to answer mine at 2:30 in the morning last winter, had several 6:00 wake up calls also. Does it bother me, heck no. With my caretaing end of the business I expect that at times. Mind you it has only happend about 6 times in the past 20 months.

alyssa
04-30-2006, 12:46 AM
I am not in the lawn business *yet* but with my regular business I keep to my business hours. While it is nice to be available and you want to make the sale some people tend to take it too far and then they make a habit of calling at all hours. That isn't something you want to find yourself dealing with either. You can offer extended hours as part of your regular hours, another words instead of being like the typical business and closing at say 6:00 keep your phone on till 8pm but after 8pm thats it.

WPLE
04-30-2006, 01:57 AM
When I get home, the cell phone goes off. When I get back in the truck the next morning I turn it back on. When I get home I do not want to be bothered. I am to the point where I do not worry about missing a job. We have to be married to our business's but we have to have a life away from the yard. Just what I think.

QualityLawnCare4u
04-30-2006, 02:11 AM
Right now I would take any d*mn call if it was midnight or 3am!